Preparing for your trip

Package: Best of Kenya & Tanzania Safari

Print this page and refer to it as you prepare for your trip!

Printed Mar 20, 2023. Please visit for the latest updates.


Item Due
Ensure you have a current passport valid for at least six months after your return date. ASAP
Complete your registration. You'll receive a link to the registration form after you complete your booking. Within 5 days of booking
Make your final payment, if any balance is due. See your invoice
Book connecting flights to your departure city, if necessary. (Please confirm your international flight schedule first!) After receiving your e‑tickets
Make advance seat reservations for your international flight, if you have a preference. After receiving your e‑tickets
Request any additions or changes you may still want to make to your trip. by final payment due date
Obtain required travel visas and review any requirements for entry. See below
Print your itinerary and other final documents, which we will send you via email by 14 days prior to travel. Prior to travel
Print your policy documents, if you purchased travel insurance, and carry them with you. Prior to travel
Enroll in The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), if you're a U.S. citizen or national, so the State Dept. can locate and assist you in case of an emergency. Prior to travel
Confirm your flight times and any special meal requests with the airline, and print and carry a copy of your e-ticket. 72 hours prior to travel
Check in for your flights online and download/print your boarding passes (if available). 24 hours prior to travel
Arrive at the airport, ready for the trip of a lifetime! 3½ hours prior to departure

Documents & Entry Requirements

Entry requirements are provided for your convenience. However, unless otherwise stated, it is your responsibility to determine the requirements that apply to you and your trip and to comply with them, including obtaining any necessary visas or other travel documents by the required deadlines and carrying them with you. Especially with COVID-19, requirements are subject to change, so check back for the latest before you depart.

US passengers are required to have a visa to enter Kenya. A single entry visa is sufficient for passengers continuing on to Tanzania, and connecting in Nairobi, Kenya for departure flight to the US.

KenyaKenya Entry Requirements

Advice from Friendly Planet

COVID-19 Entry Requirements: Digital confirmation of your completed vaccination certificate and your PCR test which must be taken a maximum of 72 hours prior to departure to Kenya. This confirmation can be obtained through the Global Haven website or at . Please create an account, enter your travel and personal details, and upload your test result certificate and your vaccine details for verification. After completion, a QR code will be generated for you to download. Bring a print-out or take a screenshot of the QR Code, as this will be requested by the airline and airport officials to facilitate entry to Kenya. 

Advice from our partner Sherpa

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TanzaniaTanzania Entry Requirements

Advice from Friendly Planet

U.S. citizens require a visa to enter Tanzania. A visa support letter will be sent after you have completed your registration form and made your final payment, approximately 60 days prior to departure. Please apply for your visa only after receiving this letter. See details and apply for your eVisa below.

Tanzania requires proof of yellow fever vaccination upon entry for passengers arriving from Yellow Fever Endemic Countries, such as Kenya. Find a vaccination Center.

Advice from our partner Sherpa

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General Requirements & Guidelines

  • In general, you must have a passport to travel abroad, which should be valid for at least six months after your return date. Passports expiring before then should be renewed as soon as possible. Passports contain at least 2 blank pages for each country visited. If your passport does not have this many pages, obtain a new passport as soon as possible.
  • if your passport and visa are not in order, airlines and cruise ships may deny boarding, countries may deny entry, and your trip may be disrupted. Travel insurance may not cover such losses.
  • Any changes in names or passport information should be reported to us immediately. Airlines and cruise ships may deny boarding if the name on your passport does not match your tickets.
  • Minors (age 17 or younger) departing and/or returning to the U.S. without parents or with only one parent may be required by U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) to present a notarized parental consent letter and/or unabridged birth certificate (more information). Many other countries have similar entry requirements, especially for minors traveling with a parent/guardian with a different surname; check with the consulates of all countries you'll be visiting to learn more.

Final Documents

Your final travel documents will be sent to you via email by 14 days prior to departure. These will include your daily itinerary, hotel and emergency contact information, and other relevant information. Please print your documents and take them with you. If you're departing in less than a week and haven't received your documents, let us know immediately!

Travel Insurance Documents

If you purchased travel insurance, please print and carry your policy documents, including contact information for emergency travel assistance and instructions on how to make a claim. If you purchased the travel protection plan we offer, we recommend you print the full policy.

Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)

We encourage all U.S. citizens and nationals traveling abroad to enroll in the Department of State's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). This free service allows you to receive important updates about safety and security issues in your destination, and makes it easier for the U.S. Embassy, as well as family & friends, to contact you in case of an emergency. To enroll or get more information, please visit the STEP website or any U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Flights, Transfers & Arrival

Questions about your flights before you depart? Read the information below first. If you still have questions, contact our air specialists at 800-555-5765 ext. 2 or [email protected].

Flights & Tickets

For this package, we generally book your flights and issue tickets after your final payment due date.

Once we have issued your tickets, we'll send you an "e-ticket receipt" which contains all of your flight information, including times, carriers, an airline booking reference number, and an e-ticket number. If you have not received this, or have questions about the flights we booked for you, please contact our air department. You will not receive paper tickets. We recommend you print and carry a copy of your flight details, including the airline booking reference number and e-ticket number, as some airports require this to enter the terminal. You do not need to reconfirm your flights with the airline prior to your departure, as we will handle this for you.

Please note that some of the airlines used on this program will only pre-assign seats for a fee. You must call the airline directly to have your seats pre-assigned. Otherwise, seats will be assigned at the airport when you check-in. 

Airports impose a departure fee. In most instances the departure fee is included in the air tickets while some airports require the departure fee to be paid locally. The total amount paid locally for this program is $15 per person. This amount will be collected locally when you fly from Tanzania to Nairobi.

Want to reserve specific seats?

That depends on the airline. You can usually request a window or aisle seat, and sometimes specific seat numbers (but not exit row and bulkhead seats) ahead of time. Many airlines now charge a fee for this, and such fees are not included in your package price. If you have a seat preference, let us know when you book, in the special requests section, or email us at [email protected] after you book. Then:

If your airline does not charge a fee to pre-assign seats: We'll happily pass along your seat request to the airline and confirm they received it (though we cannot guarantee it will be honored).

If your airline does charge a fee to pre-assign seats: We'll let you know. You'll need to contact the airline directly to request your seats after we have issued your flight tickets, and fees are payable directly to the airline.

If you do not request specific seats: The airline typically assigns them within 24 hours of departure. If you do not like your assigned seats, you may be able to change them, subject to availability, when you check in online or at the counter. Learn more about Advance Seat Reservations.

Want to request a special meal?

You can enter special meal requests when you book with an agent or complete your online registration, shortly after booking. We will relay your requests to the airlines and our representatives abroad, but we cannot guarantee they will be honored. Please double check meal requests with your airline 72 hours before departure, and with our representatives upon arrival.

Looking to earn frequent flyer miles?

You may be able to earn frequent flyer points for your flights. Contact the airline directly once you receive your tickets to enter your frequent flyer number in your flight record, or enter it when you check in. As you travel, check your tickets or ask the check-in or gate agent prior to boarding each flight to ensure the number has been entered properly. And just to be safe, keep your boarding passes and passenger receipt as proof that you have actually flown the miles you want credited to your account.

Interested in upgrading to business class or premium economy?

Cabin upgrades may be available on your flights. Ask us about price and availability when you book online, in the special requests section, or contact our air department after you book. Please note that our special contracted airfare rates generally do not permit upgrading with frequent flyer points, and that upgrade requests may incur change fees if tickets have already been issued.

Flight Schedule

You may review the sample flight schedule(s) below. This information is for general planning puposes. You will receive your actual flight schedule by email once we issue your tickets.

Airlines may change schedules at any time, even after flights have been confirmed, and we are not responsible for such changes. Please check for updates to your flight schedule prior to booking any connecting flights and again 72 hours prior to departure.

Sample Flights from New York (JFK):

Kenya Airlines (KQ) Toll-free number is 866-536-9224.


Flight From To Depart Arrive Flight Time
KQ 003 New York (JFK) Nairobi (NBO) 1:45 PM 10:30 AM (next day) 13:45 hrs
Flight From To Depart Arrive Flight Time
KQ 6721 Arusha (JRO) NBO 7:00 PM 8:00 PM 1 hr
   KQ 002           NBO                 JFK                  11:35 PM          7:35AM  (next day)          15 hrs




Connecting Flights

If you plan to purchase connecting flights to your departure city, we strongly suggest waiting until after your final payment due date and after you receive the e-tickets for your international flights, to reduce the chances that that your departure might be cancelled or rescheduled or that your international flight times might change. Before purchasing connecting flights, verify the times for your international flights. Leave at least 3½ hours connecting time between flights, and if you're traveling within a few weeks of Daylight Savings Time changes (in March and November, when flight schedules may change even more dramatically), allow 5–5½ hours between flights. Nobody likes waiting around the airport, but missing your flight is far worse!

Airport Transfers

Please make sure to arrive at your international gateway airport at least 3 ½ hours before departure. Advise the check-in agent to check your bags though to Nairobi. After check-in proceed to the departure gate and board your flight. Your flight makes a stop, where you have to disembark and change planes for your continuing flight to Nairobi. Upon arrival in Nairobi, proceed to immigrations. After clearing customs and immigration procedures proceed to the baggage hall and collect your luggage. Our local representative will meet you as you exit the baggage hall, holding a paging board with your name. Our representative will escort you to the transfer vehicle, and you will be transferred to your hotel.

Meet the rest of the group and your Kenya Driver/Guide/Game Spotter the following morning at the pre-safari briefing. Your Kenya Driver/Guide/Game Spotter will stay with you throughout your visit in Kenya. You will have a different driver/guide/game spotter on the Tanzania portion of your tour. Your driver/guide/game spotter will be responsible for supervising all aspects of the tour.

Arrival Complications

We make every effort to ensure our tours run smoothly and trouble-free. We don't expect any problems, and nor should you. But when things don't go as planned, here's what to do:

  • You miss your flights, or your flights are cancelled: Please call us immediately. If it's outside our normal business hours, leave a message in our emergency mailbox, with a phone number at which to reach you, and we'll get right back to you.
  • Your flights are delayed and you're worried about missing your included transfers: Please contact us to let us know about the delay, and we will notify our partners in destination. They will be tracking your arrival and will plan accordingly.
  • Your package includes transfers, but you can't find our representative at your destination: Don't panic—they may have been unexpectedly delayed. Wait up to 30 minutes. Then contact our local partners in destination, listed on the emergency contact page of your final documents. If you can't reach them, call us. If it's outside our normal business hours, leave a message in our emergency mailbox. If all else fails, make your own way to the starting hotel (or cruise port), and we'll refund you the cost of your transfer.

Packing & Luggage

Baggage allowance: Each passenger may bring one piece of checked-in luggage and one carry-on piece. Your checked-in luggage should weigh no more than 33 pounds, and each piece may not exceed 62 inches as a sum of all three dimensions (length, height and width). Your carry-on luggage should fit under your seat or in the overhead compartment. Most airlines do not consider roll-aboards as hand luggage. Kindly ensure to pack you medications and other essentials in your carry-on luggage.

While the airline may permit two checked-in bags per person, we strongly suggest to bring only one checked-in luggage with a maximum weight of 33 lbs. We recommend a lighter weight and smaller dimension for both the checked-in and carry-on luggage than what airlines typically allow in order to fit in the overhead compartments on the motor coaches used for transfers and touring. Kindly note that these limitations facilitate an easier, faster, and smoother approach towards the collection and transport of your luggage throughout the tour. In the interest of comfort and convenience for you and your fellow travelers, we recommend that you do not over-pack and to take a variety of separates with climate and comfort in mind. We appreciate your understanding and your cooperation regarding these limitations.

Learn more about Baggage Allowances on your international flights. Note that our baggage allowances may be less than those for your international flights. If you exceed the baggage limits, you may be subject to excess baggage charges levied by the airlines and/or by Friendly Planet.

Regardless of the limits—we recommend a smaller size and weight for both your checked and carry-on bags. It's so much easier and faster for you to get around when you have fewer, lighter bags! For your carry-on, consider a soft-sided bag such as a duffel rather than a hard clamshell-type case, which may not fit as easily into overhead compartments or under your seat, especially on buses. For your protection, we suggest your checked luggage have a TSA-approved lock.

Luggage tags: For your safety, we are no longer mailing Friendly Planet luggage tags to you. We encourage you to use your own. Fill in the luggage tags with your name and contact information and attach to each bag, including carry-ons and camera cases, so that your luggage can be identified should it get misplaced during your trip.

What to pack: Check out our list of top 10 must-haves for international travel, as well as what not to pack. Pack smart: put your travel documents, medications, one change of clothing, and other essentials in your carry-on, in case your checked baggage is misplaced. And pack light, for your own comfort and convenience. For clothing, we suggest packing a variety of separates with climate and comfort in mind.

What not to pack: U.S. law forbids you to carry hazardous materials aboard aircraft in your checked or carry-on baggage or on your person, including explosives, compressed gases, flammable liquids & solids, loaded firearms, poisons, corrosives and radioactive materials. Common examples include paints, lighter fluid, fireworks, mace/tear gas and oxygen bottles. Restricted materials may vary by airline and destination. Some items, in quantities of no more than 70 ounces total, may be carried within baggage, including medicinal or toilet articles such as hairspray, perfume and certain medicines that are necessary during your journey. Please check with the airline and/or visit the FAA website prior to travel if you have any questions.

While on Tour

What to Expect

This fast-paced, partially escorted tour includes a reasonable amount of walking or hiking and requires an average level of physical fitness. This tour also includes long scenic drives between destinations, sometimes on bumpy unpaved roads and may have limited rest stops.

Please remember that you are traveling as part of a group, and your personal cooperation will make the trip better for everyone. Please arrive on time for group activities, and please note that smoking is not permitted on our tour buses. Be sensitive to the local customs, as many activities may be conducted differently than in our own country. You will find a polite, gentle approach and a friendly, positive demeanor will help you achieve the best results as you travel.

In General: While we have made every effort to secure comfortable accommodations and transportation, we ask you to keep in mind that the standards you will encounter may be different from those you are used to at home.

Please remember that you are visiting countries where customs are not the same as in the USA. Many people speak English, and you may assume you are being understood, but it is often the case that the person you are speaking to does not clearly comprehend. Be sure to ask your guide, the hotel clerk, the waiter or any other service providers to confirm that what you have asked or said has been understood. This is very important when shopping.

Game Reserves: There will be various safaris through Game Reserves. Please keep in mind that wildlife viewing is a matter of luck, and although experiencing game drives is wonderful, there are no assurances that you’ll view all the animals you would like to see.

Your Schedule: On several days during your trip, a considerable driving distance between the various National Parks is involved. Please note that due to poor road conditions in some of the areas visited, some discomfort during those days should be expected. Your patience and understanding are appreciated.

Remain Watchful & Enjoy: You may have read about the spreading crime in some of the larger urban areas of Kenya, primarily in Nairobi. While your Nairobi hotel is a deluxe property which has excellent security, please exercise caution and care. Whenever in doubt, please ask your tour host/guide.

Kenya and Tanzania Plastic Bag Ban: In an effort to curb litter and support environmental sustainability, Kenya has banned the use of plastic carrier bags and other certain plastic bags, including duty free carrier bags, general shopping bags, bin liners (used to protect luggage from the rain), and dry cleaning bags (commonly wrapped around clothing). Those arriving in Kenya or Tanzania via airports or land borders will be required to leave prohibited bags at the point of entry. You will not be fined, as long as you surrender the plastic bags. Suitable replacement options for your travel needs can be: paper bags, durable and reusable shopping bags or totes, and/or bags made from cloth, woven grass, or sisal.

Please Note: The zip-lock bags given by the airport to carry your liquids through security are classified as durable plastic bags and are allowed as it is part of the security process.

Remember that you're a guest in someone else's homeland, and that you're traveling to experience their country and culture. Be sensitive to local customs and manners, as many things may be done differently than what you're used to. And while we have made every effort to secure modern and comfortable accommodations and transportation, please note that the standards in other countries may be different from those you are accustomed to at home. Overall, you will find a polite, positive, patient, and open-minded approach generally yields the best travel experience!

Please keep in mind that you'll be traveling with a group. Sharing your explorations with like-minded folks can often be a source of joy, and some of our travelers become lifelong friends. But traveling with strangers can also sometimes be challenging, especially in a foreign country. We ask that you be patient and respectful with your fellow travelers, including their needs and preferences. Also remember that you have responsibilities to the group—please be prompt for group activities so you don't keep everyone else waiting. Lastly, please defer to your tour leader, guide or manager. They are there for your safety and wellbeing, and to ensure the journey goes smoothly for everyone. If you have a problem with one of our tour guides or managers, please let us know, either while you're on tour or after you return, and we'll make sure your concerns are addressed.


Our hotels are all Western-style, with standard amenities and facilities, on-site restaurant, and your room will, of course, have a private bathroom. The lodges in the Masai Mara turn off electricity at night and during most parts of the day when guests are on game drives. Advance arrangements can be made to keep the electricity on overnight for essential medical devices. Electrical current is 240v. Wall sockets will vary. Take a travel converter/adapter kit with you, as these are not readily available.

Eating & Drinking

The meals included with your package are listed in the itinerary.

Non-included Meals: The average cost for dinner in Nairobi and Arusha (not including drinks) is about $20 - $40 per person, per meal. Your hotel and major restaurants accept credit card payments for non-included meals.

As part of Kenya’s continued environmental conservation and sustainability, the Kenyan government has banned the use of single-use plastics, including water bottles, in national parks and protected areas. On arrival to Kenya, you will receive a reusable water bottle, compliments of Friendly Planet. Our touring vehicles are equipped with large, sanitized canisters of fresh filtered water, where you can refill your personal water bottle as you travel.

  Please be aware that the water in the hotel tap system is not potable. Hotels will normally provide bottled water at a small fee. On occasion, a first bottle (complimentary) will be in your room upon check in. As a reminder, only drink water and other beverages from sealed bottles or cans. The rule for water also pertains to ice, as it is commonly made from unfiltered, tap water. At included meals, feel free to enjoy the cooked fruits and vegetables, but stay away from raw items unless you can peel them. Our bodies are not accustomed to the micro-organisms in the raw foods and water of many other countries, including Kenya and Tanzania.  If you exercise caution, you will avoid spoiling your trip by getting sick.

Please see above for special meal requests.


You will be traveling through in the company of professionals who are very committed to making your tour the dream vacation you are counting on. These people feel great pride in having a chance to show foreign visitors their country. If your guide, driver and others with whom you are traveling are doing a good job, please take our suggestions for tipping seriously. As always, gratuities are an individual expression of thanks and should be based on the level of service provided. The recommended amounts are as follows: 

  • Safari driver/guide/game spotter: $10-12 per person per day
  • Excursion driver guide: $3-5 per person per day
  • Transfer drivers: $2-3 per person per way 
  • Boat excursion driver/guide: $4-5 per person
  • Balloon Safari Pilot (if applicable): $5-10 
  • Restaurant and beverage staff (for non-included meals): 10% of the total bill 
  • Restaurant staff at the hotel or lodge (for included meals): $1-2 per person per meal
  • Housekeeping: $1-2 per person per day
  • Hotel/lodge porters: $1 per bag per lift

Optional Excursions

To enhance your trip, your tour host will offer the following optional excursion. All rates are in US Dollars. Excursions should be reserved through your guide in Kenya and payment can be made in US dollars by cash and/or major credit cards. Payments made by credit card are subject to a service charge. Optional excursions are subject to a minimum number of participants and may therefore be canceled if this minimum is not met.

  • Kenya Masai Mara Hot Air Balloon Safari & Champagne Breakfast, $450 per person – Day 9 (purchased locally) Take a balloon ride across the Masai Mara. Weather conditions permitting, your flight begins in the pre-dawn hours, when the view over the park is most magnificent. Toward the end of your adventure, you'll rise to a height of 1,500 feet for a panoramic view of the twisting Mara River and the savannah below. After an hour or so in the air, your safari finishes with a champagne breakfast in the bush, cooked on the balloon's burners. Flight may not operate if weather conditions are not suitable.

Please note: Prices are subject to change without prior notice. This tour will be offered to you locally.

Independent Activities

Due to the comprehensive nature of this tour and the location of your lodges in the national parks, there is no opportunity for independent self-exploration. The Park management does not permit self-exploration for safety and conservation concerns. Should you decide to opt-out of a group activity, you can remain at the hotel/lodge and enjoy activities offered on the premises. Based on availability, your safari lodges may also offer a private game drive for an additional fee. You can arrange and pay for this additional service directly with the lodge.

Special Needs & Requests

Please see above for special meal requests and seat requests. If you have any other special requests, including wheelchair or electric cart assistance, please mention your request when you book with an agent, or in the special requests section when you book online. We will do our best to accommodate them!

Country FAQs

KenyaKenya Fast Facts


Capital: Nairobi
Population:  46 million
Currency: Kenyan shilling (KES)
Languages: Swahili and English
Drives on the: Left
Time zone: GMT/UTC +3

Health Precautions & Vaccinations

The CDC recommends for anyone traveling to or coming from a yellow fever endemic country to take the Yellow Fever vaccine prior to travel. The CDC deems certain parts of Kenya to be at risk of yellow fever. Please click on the link below to view the CDC map which indicates the areas that may require the yellow fever vaccine: Travelers may be denied entry for not having sufficient proof of immunization. An exemption may be granted under certain medical circumstances, so be sure to discuss this issue with your physician. Please consult with your personal physician or local public health authorities regarding taking anti-malaria pills. You may wish to consult your personal physician or local public health authorities as to their suggestions on other health concerns or requirements.


Since Kenya is located on the Equator, the weather is temperate with average daytime temperatures in the 60's-80's. However, in higher elevations you may experience cooler temperatures enough for a sweater at night year-round. In the arid, desert like region like Samburu National Park, temperatures may be hotter.

Money & Credit Cards

The local currency in Kenya is the Kenyan shilling. Hotels and some stores accept major credit cards. However, for "street shopping" you will need local currency. Your hotel will be able to exchange your cash to local currency.

Credit cards are the most convenient way to pay for items you purchase as you travel. Be sure to call your credit card providers to let them know you will be traveling abroad, the places you’ll be visiting and the dates of your trip. This is important for your own protection. We suggest that you bring along cash in small denominations and we highly recommended that you bring crisp, new bills. If you wish to exchange U.S. dollars to the local currency, new, crisp U.S. dollar in large bills ($20, $50, $100) are preferred. Old, torn, crumpled bills & US dollars printed 2012 or earlier are not accepted in East Africa. Travelers’ checks are not accepted in Kenya.

Always notify your bank prior to departure to avoid any problems using your credit or debit card abroad.


There will be some opportunities to shop for souvenirs, including artwork and handicrafts. Cash may be the only form of payment accepted for shopping in Kenya, particularly throughout the Masai Mara and at the Masai Village. While we take great care in arranging the components of your tour, we have no relationship with the shopping venues you’ll encounter, and we cannot be liable for any purchases you make. Please keep in mind that many, if not most stores outside the U.S. will not allow exchanges or refunds for your purchased items.

Please Note: Strict conservation laws in Kenya make it illegal to purchase coral, shells, ivory, or the skins of endangered species. The penalties for trying to transport or smuggle these items out of the country may be severe.

Tips for Bargaining: Bargaining is a way of life in Kenya. If you want to purchase something, and you think the price you’ve been quoted is too high, thank the vendor and walk away. Generally, he/she will come after you with a lower price. It is usually considered good bargaining policy to offer half the asking price, and negotiate from there. The negotiations should be done in a respectful way. Kindly note that most hotels and shops maintain fixed prices.

Electricity & Power Adapters

240 volts. Plug G. You will need a voltage converter and plug adapter in order to use U.S. appliances. We recommend getting a universal adapter and converter kit.

Learn more about electrical standards around the world.

Cell Phones & Internet

Want to take your cell phone, tablet or laptop, but not sure how to get cell service or wifi? Read up on using your cell phone abroad and the 5 ways to get Internet abroad.


Cameras and video recorders are permitted, and photography is generally permitted everywhere except at airports and military installations. Memory cards for digital cameras will be available in major cities.

Did you know?
  • When greeting a local, just say Jambo! It’s the most common greeting in Kenya and is similar to saying "hello" in English.
  • Just like in the United Kingdom, in Kenya people drive to the left of the road rather than the right.
  • Lake Victoria, the world’s second largest freshwater lake by surface area, is shared between Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.
  • The yearly wildebeest migration takes part in the Maasai Mara from Serengeti National Park.
  • Although there are more than 60 languages spoken in the country, the two official languages are Swahili and English.
  • There are two distinct seasons in Kenya: the rainy season and dry season. After the rainy season, the landscape is full of lush greenery.

Frequently Asked Questions about Kenya

  1. I heard Kenya has banned plastic bags?

    [September 2017] In an effort to curb litter and support environmental sustainability, Kenya has banned most single-use plastic bags. Those arriving in Kenya via airports or land borders will be required to surrender any prohibited bags. (You will not be fined as long as you comply.) The Ziploc® bags used to carry liquids through security are exempt from this ban. The following sorts of bags will not be permitted:
    • Duty-free carrier bags
    • General shopping bags
    • Bin liners (sometimes used to protect luggage during rain)
    • Dry cleaning bags (commonly wrapped around clothing)

    Some suitable & allowed replacements:

    • Paper bags
    • Durable, reusable shopping bags
    • Bags made from cloth, woven grass or sisal

TanzaniaTanzania Fast Facts


Capital: Dodoma
Population:  53.47 million
Currency: Tanzanian shilling (TZS)
Languages: Swahili and English
Drives on the: Left
Time zone: UTC +3

Health Precautions & Vaccinations

The CDC does not recommend yellow fever vaccine for most travelers to Tanzania. However, if you will be traveling to Kenya or any other Yellow Fever Endemic Countries on your trip, you must show proof of yellow fever vaccination for entry into Tanzania. Find a local vaccination center.

There is a malaria risk in Tanzania below 1800 meters. Check with your physician about malaria suppressants, and hepatitis, typhoid, and cholera inoculations.

Do not swim in freshwater streams, lakes or rivers as they are full of parasites. Disinfect and cover all wounds to prevent infection.

Center for Disease Control
World Health Organization


Tanzania does not have large seasonal variations since it is so close to the equator. The weather is best June thru September, although most animals have migrated to Kenya at that time. September thru March is also a good time to visit. Rainy season occurs April and May. Mount Kilimanjaro is very, very cold at its higher elevations.

What to wear

We suggest bringing clothes made of cotton, preferably in neutral colors (especially for game drives). A hat, scarf, sunscreen and insect repellent are also valuable accessories for your trip. If you have two pairs of comfortable (broken in, not brand new) walking shoes, by all means, take both pairs. Since weather can be unpredictable anywhere in the world and to be sure you are comfortable during your trip and prepared for all types of weather possibilities, we recommend that you carry a small folding umbrella (or poncho) and take with you a light jacket or sweater. Packing to dress in layers is another way to prepare for a variety of weather conditions. Finally, remember that the countries visited on this tour are casual, and comfort should dictate your wardrobe for the tour. Binoculars are also suggested.


A small gratuity to your guides and drivers will be greatly appreciated by them. The recommended amount is $12-15 per person per day for your Safari driver/guide. A $1 gratuity to restaurant staff per meal (lunch/dinner), $1 to hotels/lodges porters per bag upon arrival and departure and $2-3 to transfer drivers per transfer is also appreciated. A $5-10 per person to Balloon safari pilot if taking the optional Hot Air Balloon Safari tour. For parents travelling with children, 50% of the suggested tipping rates are recommended on behalf of their children. As always, gratuities are an individual expression of thanks and should be based on the level of service provided.

Money & Credit Cards

Credit cards are the most convenient way to pay for items you purchase as you travel. Be sure to call your credit card providers to let them know you will be traveling abroad, the places you’ll be visiting and the dates of your trip. This is important for your own protection. For small purchases, we recommend that you use the ATM machines to get cash in local currency so that you can avoid using your credit card in unknown shops where there is a higher risk of having your credit card numbers “borrowed” for unauthorized purchases. We suggest that you bring along cash in small denominations and we highly recommended that you bring crisp, new bills. If you wish to exchange U.S. dollars to the local currency, new, crisp U.S. dollar in large bills ($20, $50, $100) are preferred. Old, torn, crumpled bills & US dollars printed 2012 or earlier are not accepted in East Africa.

Always notify your bank prior to departure to avoid any problems using your credit or debit card abroad.


The best items to shop for in Tanzania are local handcrafts including pottery, Makonde carpets, sculptures, paintings, soapstone carvings, fabric, cloth paintings of Kilimanjaro, chests, and gems. Prices are not usually marked and bargaining is expected.

Electricity & Power Adapters

230 volts. Plugs D & G. You will need a voltage converter, and plug adapter in order to use U.S. appliances. We recommend getting a universal adapter and converter kit.

Learn more about electrical standards around the world.

Cell Phones & Internet

Want to take your cell phone, tablet or laptop, but not sure how to get cell service or wifi? Read up on using your cell phone abroad and the 5 ways to get Internet abroad.


Cameras and video recorders are permitted, and photography is generally permitted everywhere except at airports and military installations. Memory cards for digital cameras will be available in major cities.

Did you know?
  • Tanzania is home to some of the best national parks in the world, with the parks making up 30% of the entire country.
  • Tanzania is a little more than twice the size of California.
  • Three of the world's most spectacular lakes surround Tanzania: Lake Victoria, Lake Tanganyika, and Lake Nyasa
  • The tallest mountain in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro, is located in Tanzania.
  • Although there are over 120 languages spoken, the official language of Tanzania is Swahili.
  • Found in Tarangire National Park, the Baobab tree can live up to 1,000 years or longer.

Frequently Asked Questions about Tanzania

  1. I heard Tanzania has banned plastic bags?

    [May 2019] In an effort to curb litter and support environmental sustainability, Tanzania's ban on plastic bags will go into effect June 1, 2019. All plastic carrier bags, regardless of their thickness, will be prohibited from being imported, exported, manufactured, sold, stored, supplied and used in the country.

    Special desks will be designated at all entry points to the country where any plastic carrier bags brought into Tanzania can be surrendered. (You will not be fined as long as you comply.) The Ziploc® bags used to carry liquids through security are exempt from this ban. 

Fine Print

Terms & Conditions: Please review our terms & conditions for this package.

Cancellations: If something comes up and you need to cancel your trip, please let us know as soon as possible. All cancellations must be made in writing. Cancellation fees vary by package; please see the cancellation fees for this package.

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